Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Friend Dahmer; first review in a series of 112 by Jacob J. Gallegos!

Here at Ich Liebe Comics! we're going to have semi-regular reviews by Jacob J. Gallegos, one half of the Vegas art duo The 80s Kids, and long time enthusiast of great alternative comics ( but he likes some superhero comics too)! Here's his first one, on one of my favorite graphic novels from a few years ago, My Friend Dahmer, written and drawn by Derf Backderf - take it away, Jacob J. Gallegos (and thanks for suggesting doing this review feature!).:

It’s not often that we are offered a look into the deeper inner workings of a serial killers mind. You have your documentaries, yes, which occasionally hint to the tormented youths of your average Jack the Ripper and Son of Sam, but it is a rare occasion when we are offered the opportunity for a first person look into who any one of these plagued children truly used to be. In his second attempt at detailing his personal memories of Jeffrey Dahmer, Derf Backderf presents us with My Friend Dahmner, an extremely personal, yet abruptly distant perspective into the life of a young Mr. Jeffrey Dahmer. Having known the serial killer since the age of 12, attending the same middle school in the early 70s, Derf describes his friendship with Dahmer as a relationship he was “fine with during school hours” but “there was no way” he was going to pursue a closer friendship outside of that. Dahmer, on the other hand, described his friendships during high school as, simply, “a good time.” 
If you’re looking for a detailed account of Dahmers killings or the research findings highlighted in the media after the discovery of his gruesome crimes, then this is not the book for you. Instead, Backderf explains, as best he or anyone truly can, the lie of a youth Jeffrey Dahmer lived each and every day. Posing as the “Dahmer Fan Club” mascot, Jeffrey was not considered a friend of the usual sort to this self-described nerdy group of guys. He was, to them, a form of entertainment. Derf explains that it didn’t take very long at all before the group realized Jeffrey Dahmer was not only slightly different, rather, he was sincerely off. These young boys allowed Jeff to entertain them. They were, more than likely, the closest thing to a normal relationship he ever had. He humored them with exaggerated “epileptic” seizures, coupled with raucous outbursts and in return they tolerated his presence, at least until their senior year. 
It was the end of this final year of his adolescence where Backderf believes Jeffrey finally slipped into the darkness of his mind beyond return. His friends abandoned him. His mother left him. His father was long gone. School, where he never attended class, but went to drink in the shadows among other living beings, was coming to its final end. It was at this point that Jeffrey Dahmer was left to his thoughts and his thoughts alone. This bitter loneliness proved to be the breading ground for the monster we in the general public have come to know. Backderf emphasizes the fact that his sympathy for Dahmer ends the moment the first murder occurred, yet he makes it very clear that he is unable to separate his memories of a shared youth with a lost young boy from the harsh reality of who that boy became. 
As the reader, you are pulled into a lonely, desolate generation where the true question to be posed regarding the outcome of Jeffrey Dahmers life is, “where were the adults?” This question is asked a number of times throughout My Friend Dahmer and by the end of this chilling 224 page graphic novel the reader is left with a slightly more real understanding of how this serial killer became the individual we know of today. I give this 4 out of 5 Epstein’s!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Happy New Comics Wednesday 8/27/14 - GI Zombie, Saga, Outcast, Sisters editon AND details about our Saturday Las Vegas Valley Humane Society Auction Benefit!!

 Third issue of Johns and Romita Jr.'s Superman - great story (we still have the first two chapters too), Darwyn Cook draws the LAST issue of All Star Western!!, third issue of Kirkman's possession comic, Outcast, Saga (can't wait to see how crazy this issue is after the last two crazy issues!), and how great was Gi Zombie #1!?
 Last issue of Wolverine leading into next week's BIG Wolverine Death of Wolverine #1 by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven!!
 Bob's Burgers - they better offer vegan choices (grin)! New Dark Horse comic POP, looks interesting! And now some details about this Saturday's (August 30th from 12-4pm) Las Vegas Valley Humane Society benefit auction (following the photo below of some of the exclusive San Diego Comic-Con goodies up for auction!)!:
Our 2nd Annual Las Vegas Valley Humane Society benefit is culminating with an in-store event on Saturday, August 30th from 12-4pm! We're auctioning exclusive items we've gotten from this year's San Diego Comic-Con, including The Infinity Guantlet action figure set, The Thanos Imperative action figure set, a Doomsday action figure, a My Little Pony Mane-iac figure, A Rom Mighty Mugg, sketchbooks (including ones by Art Adams, Terry Moore, Mark Schultz, Alex Ross, & J. Scott Campbell), & San Diego exclusive variants (including a Sandman Overture hologram cover, Harley Quinn, Afterlife With Archie, & Grayson) - all the proceeds go to the Las Vegas Humane Society to help them do the awesome things they do for animals who don't have forever homes yet. 

The Very Awesome Girls LV & their spectacular nerd-craft goods will be here as well! (All proceeds from the Very Awesome Girls' nerd-craft goods will also go to the Humane Society.) We have bid sheets for the items already set up at the store, so come on down anytime to check these items out! Come out Saturday, August 30th for a fun time & to help support the work that the Las Vegas Humane Society does! Fantastic raffle prizes will also be happening as well as some other announcements so please watch this space and tell our friends! JUST ADDED: Zombie Dogs Food Truck / Catering will be here during this event from 12-3pm (and they have a vegan option!)!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Happy New Comics Wednesday 8/20/14 - Multiversity, two Warren Ellis comics, new Brubaker & Phillips title - The Fade Out , & a special fundraiser event party!

 After many, many years of being teased about Grant Morrison's Mutiversity, it's FINALLY here! And it's a lot of fun, with all of the wackiness Grant usually delivers (but not just weird for weird's sake) and great art by Ivan Reis! Ed Brubaker & Sean Philips' new image title, The fade Out looks FANTASTIC! I guess Ellis' Supreme Blue Rose and Trees will be coming out together from here on out and that's not a bad thing in my book! Wicked + Divine #3, LOVE this title! A new Wonder Woman comic (Sensation Comics featuring...)!
 Third chapter of Robin Rises!
Little Nemo looks great, By Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez! Loki and Dead Letters trade collections!

Today (Wednesday, August 20th from 12-8pm, here at Alternate Reality Comics, we're hosting a fundraiser for local big heart guy, Mark Niven, who is raising money to establish his nonprofit Comics For The Masses so that he can better help the Las Vegas community! We'll have FREE Ronald's donuts, PIZZA, local artists and cosplayers, and raffles! Sure to be a fun time - and it's Mark's 40th birthday!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Boxer, The True Story of Holocaust Survivor Harry Haft is a new graphic novel (well it came out a couple of months ago in a U.S. translated edition, but I just now got around to reading it), by Reinhard Kleist, whose previous graphic novel was Johnny Cash, I See A Darkness. The Boxer was published in Germany in 2011 and has deservedly won many awards there.

Hertzko Haft (he changed his name later to Harry Haft which is explained in The Boxer), was from a Polish town called Belchatow and when the Germans invaded Poland, Haft was one of many who ended up doing forced labor and ultimately being to taken to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Hertzko Haft was forced to fight / box others who were also at Auschwitz. Haft also searched for his first love, Leah Pablanski most of his life after he was separated from her, but I'll let new readers of The Boxer discover for themselves what became of his search.

I've read many a graphic novel, seen movies, and read novels about Holocaust survivors, and The Boxer by Reinhard Kleist, is definitely as powerful of a narrative of what Hertzko Haft had to endure to survive as any other Holocaust memoir I've experienced. I thought I knew just about everything about what went on at various concentration camps, but until I read The Boxer, I never knew about the forced sporting events (such as boxing) that those who were imprisoned had to compete in and how these sporting events were really not sporting at all, instead they were just another twisted form of entertainment for their captors. At the end of The Boxer, there is also short bios of other forgotten champions who were forced to box in concentration camps.

Absolute highest recommendation here at Ich Liebe Comics! and Alternate Reality Comics for The Boxer. Although there have been many Holocaust survivor stories, I know that there are many more that haven't been told yet, and I hope that others will continue to unearth these stories as German cartoonist Reinhard Kleist has done with The Boxer.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Happy New Comics Wednesday 8/13/14 - Sex Criminals, Original Sin, Spider-Man 2099 edition!

 Any New Comics Wednesday that includes a new Sex Criminals is bound to be a great day! And wait until you get to the last page of this week's Walking Dead and what just happened in the penultimate issue of Original Sin (it's kind of big!)!? This week's new Comics Wednesday is brought to you by the comic tease!
 I enjoyed the first issue of Peter David's Spider-Man 2099 #2 and am looking forward to reading the second one - same with the second Mew Suicide Squad!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Happy New Comics Wednesday 8/6/14 - How The World Was, Grayson #2, New Starlin Thanos GN, & Artist Spotlight opening reception!

 After looking at these four photos of all of the KEEN comics (actually these are just SOME) that are out this week, please read about our Artist Spotlight Opening Reception happening tonight, Wednesday, August 6th, from 5-8pm!

 Just WOW, right!?
The above is one of the art pieces by this month's Alternate Reality Comics Artist Spotlight artist, John Keller! He's got some other cool art pieces, but most of his art on display is some REALLY COOL photography he's done! Here's details:

We're having our first Artist Spotlight focusing on photography as we here at Alternate Reality Comics believe art takes many different forms. We also believe that nature is a powerful art force, which you'll see when you see John Keller's nature photography. John Keller isn't a professional artist, contrary to what the quality of his photography suggests, we're also hosting him to illustrate that there's an artist in each of us. Besides photography, John Keller's Artist Spotlight will feature some of his digital drawings & he'll have some 3D objects! Complimentary snacks, beverages, & other snacks will be provided while you visit with John and enjoy his art! Bring friends, they'll thank you! And thank everyone who comes out and supports local art! 5-8pm, Wednesday, August 6th!

How The World Was: A California Childhood & other GREAT graphic novels this week of 8/6/14!

I read this week's release of How The World Was: A California Childhood by Emmanuel Guibert back in February when Gina Gagliano of First Second distributed some early copies to ComicsPRO members. To say this was one of my most anticipated graphic novels is an understatement, especially for those of you who have read and remembered how much I LOVED Guibert's previous graphic novel also from First Second, titled Alan's War.

Alan Cope, befriended French cartoonist Emmanuel Guibert in the late 1990s and How The World Was is about his growing up in Southern California prior to World War II. Cope, was also the subject of Alan's War (about his World War II experiences). Both How The War Was and Alan's War can be read independently of each other and they are both fantastic accounts of a quiet life, richly lived. Like Harvey Pekar's American Splendor, Guibert's How The World Was (and Alan's War) don't have as their subject matter sensationalistic heroic or tragic events, but that doesn't mean that Alan Cope's life was any less wonderful. Highest possible recommendation from Ich Liebe Comics! and Alternate Reality Comics!

As if the release of How The World Was isn't reason for living unto itself, just look at all of these other great, varied graphic novels that are on this weeks menu! A new Thanos graphic novel by creator, Jim Starlin!! Two beautiful graphic novels illustrated by P. Craig Russell!! This display is like an early gift giving suggestion for that special someone in your life, including yourself!